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phaedryx's avatar

We're feeding candy to cows now. What do you think about it?

Asked by phaedryx (6107 points ) February 18th, 2013

My friend and I were talking about how we should switch to local milk. He did some research and found this article.

Basically, with rising feed prices, dairy farmers have turned to cheaper food sources like candy.

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13 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I wonder how the cows unwrap all those little bits of candy. Or do they eat the wrapper, too?

Pachy's avatar

Great. I like my milkshakes super-sweet!

bkcunningham's avatar

Eating candy? Heifers.

Seek's avatar

Thanks, @Pachyderm_In_The_Room

Now you can come clean the green tea off my monitor.

ucme's avatar

So that’s where pink milk comes from, I always thought it came from Lady Gaga’s ripened nipples.

wildpotato's avatar

I think it’s torture. Feeding cattle a majority of stuff other than their natural food – grass – causes them to suffer terribly. We already feed them mostly corn, and this is what happens to them:

“Perhaps the most serious thing that can go wrong with a ruminant on corn is feedlot bloat. The rumen is always producing copious amounts of gas, which is normally expelled by belching during rumination. But when the diet contains too much starch and too little roughage, rumination all but stops, and a layer of foamy slime that can trap gas forms in the rumen. The rumen inflates like a balloon, pressing against the animal’s lungs. Unless action is promptly taken to relieve the pressure (usually by forcing a hose down the animal’s esophagus), the cow suffocates.

A corn diet can also give a cow acidosis. Unlike that in our own highly acidic stomachs, the normal pH of a rumen is neutral. Corn makes it unnaturally acidic, however, causing a kind of bovine heartburn, which in some cases can kill the animal but usually just makes it sick. Acidotic animals go off their feed, pant and salivate excessively, paw at their bellies and eat dirt. The condition can lead to diarrhea, ulcers, bloat, liver disease and a general weakening of the immune system that leaves the animal vulnerable to everything from pneumonia to feedlot polio.” From this article.

The candy might not cause bloat from too much starch, but it’s still no roughage and it’ll definitely cause acidosis, and probably other problems as well.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It has been going on for decades. One farmer we knew in Central Illinois got paid for hauling away waste candy from a factory. He fed it to his cattle mixed in with their feed, it was cheaper than buying sourghum or Molasses to grind into the feed. This was back in the 1960s.

If the candy is mixed in the proper proportions with the rest of their diet it will cause no problems, and may actually benefit the cattle.

janbb's avatar

Sweet!

LuckyGuy's avatar

In our area the farmers would buy expired Hostess cakes and breads by the truck load and use it as a feed supplement for pigs and cows. $50 for a pickup truck full. It is better than sending it to a landfill.

The sad thing is they couldn’t send it to Food Bank because it was expired yet I had no trouble eating outdated Cherry pies or cookies if the package was still intact.
Why is it was good enough for me but not for a destitute homeless person?
From Seinfeld: Muffins

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It’s really okay. A cow is basically a big walking fermentation tank. As long as the farmer balances the diet the cow can eat just about anything. As long as they stay away from animal tissue.

Unbroken's avatar

@wildpotato I am with you. I have seen enough articles and evidence and common sense that tells me this is a disaster. So glad I don’t eat dairy or cow meat anymore. Considering however that candy is primarily corn sugar you can bet it causes them problems.

rooeytoo's avatar

Put me in with @wildpotato and @rosehips, it is not a natural food for cattle and is not good. I use primarily soy milk these days and eat little beef unless it is free range grass fed. I am sure there is something in the soy milk that will kill me as well but I don’t know what it is yet.

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